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December 16, 2018

5/2/2018 12:52:00 PM
North Vietnamese army not rag tag

A little musing concerning your most resent musings.
Please don’t tell me that my adversary during my two tours in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division was a “rag tag army of peasants wearing funny hats and sandals.” For, you see, in 1967 when I was shipped off to Vietnam by our peace loving president, LBJ, I was introduced to an enemy that was hardcore, battle tested and flat out in your face. They were the NVA regulars.
We stood toe to toe with our enemy in places like Dak To, Quang Tri, Hue/Phu Bai and a place called the A Shau Valley which was the setting for Hamburger Hill. The A Shau could put the fear of God in you as you air assaulted into it. That “rag tag army” you speak of was always there ready for a fight as we took turns kicking each other’s asses.
I do not care the least bit about your opinion of that war as many over there as well back home opposed it but at least get it right. You see, I have traveled to D.C. to view the WALL and the dozens of names of my comrades etched on it. Traveled to Afton, Iowa to visit the grave of my good friend and fellow troop Mark Stickles, who was killed this month of April some 50 years ago
None of them, including Mark, gave their lives fighting a “rag tag army” and not one of them tucked their tails between their legs and ran away like the United States did in 1975.
As for the war, I have my own opinion, one that I earned some 50 plus years ago. For the most part I keep it to myself but when one demeans what and who I faced as an 18-year-old soldier I find the need to disagree. Now, if your experience over there differed, please enlighten me.
John Brockway
Shelter Bay

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